That's a good question. There is a ceiling in place in the SEC that will be very tough to break through. Alabama, Georgia, Florida, LSU, and now A&M will probably have top 10 recruiting classes every single year. We may slip up and beat one of them from time to time, but we will battle to match the speed, strength, and overall depth that they will display each year.
Last year was a disappointment to some, but we really had a lot of issues on the offensive line. We even had to convert a D lineman over to play because of injuries and Croom's last recruiting class that had about 0 linemen in it. We started 2-3 freshmen last year and just got killed in the trenches. This year, those two guys are sophomores, we have an All-SEC guard, and a junior college transfer. It's not a great line, but it is better. Next year, we should have a solid offensive line and a solid defensive line. That doesn't mean that we will win the tougher games. It just means that the opportunity to compete will be more realistic because we won't be completely blown away on the front lines.
Our team is trending up. Last year, we had one of the best recruiting classes that we have ever had and this year's class may be even better. We're consistently breaking offensive school records and building depth. Next year, I expect us to be a better team with a similar record because our schedule will be tougher. However, I think 2014 will be a fun year for us as we should have a talented team with quality depth.
ChrisEmma wrote: For the Mississippi State fans, thanks for stopping by the boards. My question to you is: how would you describe the direction of your program?
Mississippi State was not very good at all for most of my adult life. State had a few good years under Jackie Sherrill,but he recruited pretty much a juco team in I think 02 and the team chemistry didn't work out. We hired coach Croom and he cleaned up the program but the overall talent was simply not there. Coach Dan Mullen was then hired and we have slowly fought back to where we are now, which is from losing season after losing season, to believing in our team. At one time,State fans would have been happy with a bowl, any bowl. Now the fans are expecting to win big games and go to bigger bowls and hoping to break through against one of the teams in the upper echelon of the SEC. I definetly think MSU is on the way up. We have been to 3 consecutive bowls and share the nations longest bowl winning streak at 5 with I think Rutgers. I believe that the best is yet to come for Mississippi State.
The program is on the rise overall, but the last 4 games of this year have been a major disappoint for me. Not nessasarily that we lost, but the way we lost. We were totally and completely embarrassed at home by Texas A&M, and losing to ole miss is not acceptable. If we lose in the Gator Bowl, I'm going to be very concerned.
I'm not sure Itrain4 is really a Mississippi State person so beware. I think most MSU fans are excited about the progress of the football program under Dan Mullen but disappointed with the way we lost four out of the last five games this year....we were really not competitive. I expect the Gator Bowl to be a hard fought game which could go either way. I think both teams will be motivated and have something to prove. I can see the game decided by a turnover. Should be fun and I'm ready to get to Jacksonvillle.
I myself loved the hire of Dan Mullen. He was a young, energetic coach fresh off a national championship with Florida. He has really energized the fanbase and has gotten everyone expecting bigger and better things for Mississippi State football. Sometimes it seems he talks a big talk but that also gets people excited, so whatever he is doing it seems to be working. The donors have come out in full force. State is expanding the stadium, they are almost finished building a giant, football only complex that is nice and modern and recruits and current players should love it. He has added some skill players which State was lacking in.
Overall i think MSU is trending upwards. But as a previous poster wrote. Losing 3 of the last 4 games the way MSU did gives reason for pause for me.
Last year MSU played bama and lsu closer than any other team besides when they played each other. This yera was a 180 degree turn in those games then throw in the A&M and om games. It was face palm material.
The defense had some issues with ready to play talent. Meanning talent is there just young and/or inexperienced. Safety play was an issue,along with tackling all season.
The front 7 rarely got push/rush. They tend to defend bigger backs better than smaller ones imo.
On offense practically everyone returns next year. The entire OL if tobias smith can get a 6th year. I think he will be granted that medical. He's been injured an awful lot. Jackson the all SEC OG will test the waters but gaurds aren't generally drafted or rated that high. especially if that's the only position they play. I expect him back.
The offense loses a sixth year TE.
Special teams MSU has a REALLY good punter. The place kicker is a freshman started off horrible. in the middle found his groove. then he was kind of hot and cold to finish out the season. In other words he played like a freshman inconsistant.
If MSu can beat okie state to start off next season. i feel that the season should end in another bowl seaon at least. But the schedule is more like it usually is for MSU. Tough win the toughest teams bama and lsu at MSU. the more winnable games away, save A&M ( tough game).
Again the overall picture looks good to me. But it is a tough road. Next year The SEC schedule is bama, lsu, A&M, arky, auby, om, south carolina and our permanant
ky. The ooc is okie state, troy (who gave us real problems this year), alcorn and i think uab.
Arky and auby won't be down forever. So MSU will have the usual tough schedule. I hope we get down to more physical play on both sides of the ball. If we do i will feel better about next year.
Gladeskat wrote: I think MSU will be comparable to Nebraska talent-wise. Very good passing game. Good pass defense but inconsistent against the run.
I think you hit the nail on the head. State has had problems stopping the run which has caused open lanes to open up in the passing game, look at all 4 losses and you will see. With the exception of aTm when Johnny football just ran all over the place and made State look asleep.
I think it is important to look at the infrastructure of our football program as well. We are about finished with a new $25 mil or so football only complex. I have not had the opportunity to see it first hand but from what I have heard it is a nice as anything in the SEC. We also have begun a new addition to our stadium. I believe the pricetag is around $65 mil give or take. It will add more premium seating, luxury boxes and loge seating in our north endzone as well as standard seating.
Also our new AD and former AD who is at Arizona now are forward thinkers in regards to marketing. Our gameday experience is much improved and our overall marketing for all sports in vastly improved in the last five years.
We are definitely putting SEC type money into our facilities. The arms race in the SEC is staggering and is only getting more competitive. The stadium addition will bring us to 62,000 people and there is actually demand for the additional seating as we have sold out the past 20+ games. Overall I would say things are looking up for MSU. It is just unbelievably tough competing with the heavyweights of the SEC and now A&M is firmly in that mix as well.
I have never heard of Itran4, probably not a Miss. State fan. I wouldn't put much stock in what he says. Overall Miss. State is on the way up; however, losing the last 4 out of 5 games was a killer. Hopefully we will get back on track in the Gator Bowl, but we will have to play a lot better.